Local QSO question

Discussion in 'On-Air Operations - Q&A' started by AC3LZ, Dec 2, 2019.

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  1. AC3LZ

    AC3LZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I bud and me live about 15 miles apart and both ragchew a least a couple nights a week on, get this, 10 meters...we both run around 50 watts or less and are both 59....both are using dipoles....what’s weird (at least to us) is when we try to ragchew on 20 or 40 watts we can barely copy each other...even at 100 watts...what is wrong here?
  2. KG4ZAR

    KG4ZAR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Basically it's a combination of the dipole antennas and the nature of the band. 10 meters is a acting more as a line of sight band during this low solar cycle period, much like 2 meters. 40meters is still a longer distance band, more like 200- 500 miles. For close range on 40 meters or even 20meters you'll need to set up a NVIS antenna that will keep your signals closer to the ground. I don't have a NVIS antenna so I can't really explain them but if you Google it you'll find plenty of information.
    Hope this helps.
  3. K7TRF

    K7TRF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Are you saying that you can hear each other with 59 signal reports at 50 watts but if either of you change that power up or down you can no longer copy each other????

    Something is wrong, probably with rig settings if that's what you're saying. If you're 5 by 9 at 50 watts then dropping to 40 watts should be indistinguishable and even 20 watts would be down around s8 or higher and certainly when you jump up to 100 watts both of your signals should improve by about 3 dB. There's no reason you should lose communications so dramatically just by relatively small decreases and certainly not after increasing transmit power.

    My first guess is that it has something to do with the rig settings and something is being set improperly when you try to raise power but it seems highly unlikely that both of you would make a mistake with rig power adjustment in some way that prevented communications.

    This makes no sense if all you are doing is changing the power a bit, especially in the case where you increase transmit power. I suspect something else is accidentally being changed when you try to change transmit power. Did both of you actually try to change transmit power or was that just a power change on your end?
  4. AC3LZ

    AC3LZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It was a typo, re-read the whole thread, I meant to say 20 and 40 meters, not watts
  5. K1LKP

    K1LKP Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    There is nothing wrong.

    10 meters at night is the best band for you to communicate with another ham located 15 miles away.

    Once the sun sets, 20 meters is not a good choice.

    As for 40 meters, it goes long during the evening hours and very difficult to QSO with your friend 15 miles away.

    Have fun and enjoy ham radio.
  6. K7TRF

    K7TRF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ahhhh, that makes more sense. Yeah propagation on different bands can be quite different as KG4ZAR posted above.
  7. N1BCG

    N1BCG Ham Member QRZ Page

    10M is the most line-of-sight of the three bands mentioned so 20 and 40 should produce similar or better signals since they have slightly lower ground losses.

    If 10M works great but 20 and 40M are unusable then this sounds like an issue with the antennas.

    What band(s) are your dipoles set up to operate on? Horizontal or vertical?
  8. W7IMM

    W7IMM Ham Member QRZ Page


    EM wave propagation across the ground is subject to a fair amount of losses. short range propagation using MF and lower HF (well below 30MHZ) are very susceptible to these losses.

    Higher frequencies in the HF and higher (VHF/UHF) ranges become more space wave, (or Line-of-sight) and are not affected much by ground absorption. You would probably find that even using dipoles on 6m or 2m over 15 miles you would get as good or better results with even lower power.

    You can read a little more about EM propagation and the effects of the earth (ground) at the following link.

    Take a look at the explanation and differences between ground wave, sky wave and space wave propagation.

    W2CHZ and KG4ZAR like this.

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